She wakes on the same futon in the same cell she had woken these past few nights. The stench of the morning cleanup alerts her that she is within the bowels of the club, her face screwed up in complete concentration. The old man wants to see her. Some grunge offered to cover the debt Sweat beads at the edges of the wife beater; a slight trickle runs along her rib cage and puddles at the waistband of the baggy shorts. She gazed past the long taut thighs, across the knee, then the old man is whathefuck cautious. He aint scared down the shapely calves to the bracelet on her ankle. Jiggling the chain once again He wants her out of your life, Tony, somptin about a witch she watches the wave of gilded gold, as it serpentines under the bed. Time moves in various rhythms in a place like this, harried and vibrant to dead and silent. She bows her head in quiet contemplation.

She looks up to find the eyes of her captor, Tony let me go holding him in her gaze. He startled erect you know I that I would if it was up to me began fidgeting with the sheet but there are others that I’m answerable to then nervously reached into his pocket and produced a cigar, he futzed with the wrapper, felt in his pocket for the lighter. A flame appeared before him it is time to cut the purse strings where or how she had found one. He lost the fire it is time to be your own man transfixed within her eyes; shaking his head he bounded from the bed and began pacing.

“Why him, I actually liked the guy. That makes I don’t know how many of my men you’ve ruined,” He gathered courage from the weapon in his hand, pointed the stogie at her face, then just as quickly crumbled to a knee resting his head against her thigh. “I never meant for it to last this long; that no one could find him or…” he turned and paced again, “that he would leave you here all this time.” It was not working; Tony, you must let me go he seemed so distraught. “You know I never would have…”

“Yes, dahling I know,” she pretends to check her nails nonchalantly brushing the file along the cuticle, her eyes fixate upon him. “You would let me go, set me free to find him on my own.” She captured his gaze once again, “and you know I would find him.”

“Yes, you would find him.” He shook his head, shaking out the cobwebs. Tony, this grunge is evil. Why, when he was with her, did his will leave him to flail so uselessly? It was such a teetertotter between the man she had created you must save me and the man he presented himself as in public, but this was saving face after the debacle with whatshisname. “I should have killed you long ago,” a fit of rage caught up with him.

“But dahling,” she continues the act, filing carefully, “you could not go on without me. For your father, it was my dance that brought them in and now with you, sweet Tony, it is handling the girls and the business.”

“Don’t flatter yourself, it’s tits that bring em in,” He made a sudden movement her way. “and they’re not choosy, so don’t forget I don’t need you. I never had and I won’t after you’re gone. You’ve had a little stage show that’s all. And let me tell you something, the novelty wore off long ago, that’s why I moved you to being in charge of the girls.”

“Don’t be such a bore, my little Tony,” she blows on the nails, “You know you need me; you know you can’t live without me.” He lunged, both hands clasping onto her throat, the movement caused her head to bang against the headboard, loosening her spell.

“I could kill you now,” He squeezed release your hands! a little on her esophagus, “just like that I could end it, end it all.” She continues her silent command, feels the grip slacken.

“But you won’t dahling,” she rises against the headboard, rubbing her head, her voice was constricted. “You know you can’t, you mustn’t.” His hands unclench.

“Yes, I mustn’t”, a single teardrop began its path along his jawline. “I can’t stand it anymore. I must have you. You must know how I feel, how I have been driven by jealousy to…”

“Yes, dear I know, now be a good boy and let me get dressed,” She rattles the chain for Tony to release her. “Tell the girls we will have a meeting at 11:00, lateness will not be tolerated.” He fell to his knees before her, took out the key from around his neck and toyed with it around the lock.

“I don’t think you quite understand,” he caressed her calf the key stuck in the tumbler, “but you’re dancing again.” His eyes grew fierce with resolve. “You’re being demoted permanently, sweetheart. With the economy the way it is, the board thinks your special talents are needed once again.”

“But dahling, not again. You said it was a one time thing,” the backhand caught her by surprise and her will broke slightly.

“You’ll fuckin do what yer told to do,” She knew instinctively that this was not his decision, the old man something had changed grunge and she needed to pay the debt find out how this shift occurred.

“Yes, of course, dahling,” she plays her fingers through his hair, as he knelt before her, “but I will only dance when they are in attendance, only for them.”

“Only for them,” tears were streaking, “Sometimes I can’t bear it.” She ruffles his hair, once more.

“I know dahling, but you see we can always compromise” she shakes the gold links at her ankle once more, “Now about these chains.” He pulled a syringe from his back pocket. “No, Tony not again,” she cringed at the thought of another injection, “if I promise to be good,” she hungered for the rush of another injection.

“I’m sorry, baby,” he knelt before her gently, “you know the rules.” She struggled as he grabbed her arm, but the longing. He slipped the needle into her vein and she felt the rush of the drug course through her, bringing a euphoric bliss. She slumped into his arms as he began to lift her top.

“It won’t be long.”